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SBD/19/Leagues Governing Bodies
NBA OFFICIAL EXPOUNDS ON LAWSUIT AGAINST UNION
Published March 19, 1996
The NBA's lawsuit against the NBPA and six top agents "is a direct response to the unsettled state of the union," according to David Moore of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. When Simon Gourdine was ousted as Exec Dir in January, Jeffrey Kessler, one of the leaders of last summer's decertification fight, was retained to represent the union in final CBA negotiations. NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik says, when Kessler was brought on, "98 to 99 percent of the contract's wording had been completed." But, according to Granik, in their first meeting with Kessler he said "they wanted to start over." Granik: "Just because we changed negotiators, we felt that gave them no right to back out on portions of the deal." The players have decided to hire a head-hunting firm to find a new Exec Dir, but they "haven't been able to agree on what firm should be hired." Until the players make a hire, "it's difficult to imagine the league and union reaching an accord" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/19).